Spiced Apple Chutney

Managing to be both spicy and sweet, this delicious chutney recipe is flavoured with a Middle Eastern style spice mix, traditionally made from paprika, coriander, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. We’re coming into the apple season now, so beg, blag or buy some cooking apples: if you make your chutney now, you will have jars to see you through the year, or to hand out as Christmas presents.

You will need:

  • 1.8kg of cooking apples (prepared weight, after peeling and coring)
  • 600g of onions
  • zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of prepared Baharat spice mix (check your local supermarket for the one made by Barts)
  • 200g sultanas (green or golden)
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • 500g of Demerara sugar

Makes around 8 x 250g jars.

  1. Wash, peel and core the apples and finely chop. If the skins are unblemished, pale in colour and are not greasy or thick then you do not need to peel them. Peel and very finely chop the onions. Zest and juice the lemon.
  2. Lightly oil the base of a large (at least 30cm diameter) heavy based pan. Put in the spice mix, add the chopped onion, apple, sultanas and lemon zest. Add the vinegar plus the lemon juice and bring slowly to the boil.
  3. Turn down and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes to soften the onion and apple and allow the sultanas to plump up. Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved before bringing back to the boil. Turn down and simmer very gently for at least 90 minutes from this stage to allow the flavours to develop. Stir occasionally to ensure it is not sticking (sultanas can catch and burn very quickly).
  4. Towards the end of the time, as it nears completion, you will need to stir more frequently as it thickens. To avoid the hot liquid spitting, move the spoon gently and slowly around the base of the pan taking care not to break the surface of the mixture.
  5. The chutney is ready when you can draw a spoon either across the base of the pan or through a spoonful of mixture on a plate and no watery liquid runs into the trail.
  6. Pour into warm sterilised jars. Fill the jars to the base of the neck and then add just a little more as the mixture might shrink slightly when it cools. Use a skewer to prick any bubbles in the jar mixture. Seal while hot. Label when cold and store in a cool dark place.

Keep your chutney for a few months before opening to allow the flavours to develop. Once open, store in a refrigerator. It can be kept for 12-18 months overall.

Enjoy your chutney with a slice or two of crusty bread and a generous portion of cheese!

With thanks to West Ealing Neighbours for sharing the recipe.

www.westealingneighbours.org.uk www.westealingabundancew13.wordpress.com/about/

Diane Gill